Last July, we were treated to a three-hour tasting that concluded with the highest-rated Corton-Charlemagnes ever crafted by regisseur Boris Champy. That afternoon, we were joined by Louis-Fabrice Latour, one of Burgundy's wealthiest landowners, who recounted the story of the sale of Clos des Lambrays to the luxury goods giant LVMH — and a Grand Cru Burgundy market gone mad.
“The Clos des Lambrays is only 21.4 acres. When it was announced that the Clos was up for sale, I thought about what the property was worth on a cash-flow basis — understanding that Grand Cru vineyards are never sold based on a rational ROI basis. While the sale price wasn’t divulged publicly, we’ve been told that the price was upwards of $150,000,000. How long will it take to repay the investment at today’s prices? Maybe two or three hundred years!”
Among the 23 bottles tasted on July 3rd, a half-dozen were Corton-Charlemagne. “Some collectors prefer the warm vintages like 2003 and 2009. The flavors are more forward, but the Chardonnay tends to age less well,” explained Champy as we sipped the golden-hued, but still marvelously youthful 1990. “For us, the great vintages are the cooler years when yields are less than 30 hectoliters per hectare. While the Chardonnay is loaded with sugar, acids are brisk, with pH not more than 3.15 or 3.2. These were vintages like 1995, 1999, 2008, and, in our opinion, the greatest Corton-Charlemagne ever made at Louis Latour, the 2013!”
The following tasting note was written over the course of 10 hours, from 11 am to 9 pm.
11 am: “Brilliant green-gold in hue. Pungent aromas of white and yellow peach, anise, and white pepper, smoky and vibrant. Broad and generous on the attack yet tightly wound, richly textured and layered, infused with juicy apple and peach, finishing with great length and sappiness.”
9 pm: “Over dinner, the wine began to unwind, adding weight, adding mineral complexity, letting go of its early ‘tightness,’ loosening up and filling out. Terrifically sturdy, the finish goes on forever, arguing elegantly for a 15- to 20-year stay in a cool cellar.”
97 points from James Suckling, the longtime Wine Spectator Burgundy specialist. 95 more from Wine Enthusiast. Regularly $140. Today $99 — shipping included on 2. 180 bottles are up for grabs.
very disappointed in this wine. No much maleolactic acid. not a good value for the money
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